FIPS 200 Minimum Security Requirements for Federal Information and Information Systems January 25, 2023 by David Lanter 23 Comments
Chinenye Marylyn Akinola says
The minimal control standards for federal agencies are covered by FIPS 200, which comes after the classification of information systems. This plays a significant role in identifying the minimal control needs for each category of data. Access control (AC), identification and authentication (IA), configuration management (CM), awareness and training (AT), audit and accountability (AU), certification, accreditation, and security assessments (CA), emergency planning (CP), incident response (IR), maintenance (MA), media protection (MP), physical and environmental protection (PE), planning (PL), personnel security (PS), risk assessment (RA) amongst others are all required for the organization to be compliant with FIPS standards.
Aayush Mittal says
To add on, defining these 17 security related areas within the organization addresses the management, operational, and technical aspects of protecting confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and information systems.
Asha Kunchakarra says
The section on minimum security requirements stood out to me because it explains the need for each section very well. All of these requirements are needed and require effective implementation to be the most successful. The 17 areas protect all three aspects of the triad in terms of federal information systems and the information processes, stored, and transmitted by those systems.
Sunam Rijal says
This standard sets out 17 security-related areas that must be met in order to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of federal information systems and the information they handle. These areas cover a wide range of management, operational, and technical aspects of information security. It is important for organizations to develop and implement formal policies and procedures that align with these minimum requirements in order to ensure the success of their information security programs.
Aayush Mittal says
NIST has developed this security standards and guidelines for the Federal Information and Information Systems which includes:
-> standards for categorizing information and information systems
-> providing appropriate levels of information security according to a range of risk levels
-> recommending the types of information and information systems to be included in each category
-> minimum information security requirements for information and information systems in each such category
The minimum security requirements cover seventeen security-related areas with regard to protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of federal information systems and the information processed, stored, and transmitted by the systems.
Mengqi Xiong says
I think “recommending the types of information and information systems to be included in each category” would be a useful point. In order to effectively monitor the security posture of information systems, it is important to categorize them based on their criticality, risk, and the types of data they handle. This helps to prioritize monitoring activities and allocate resources more effectively (High-priority, Medium-priority, and Low-priority). Also, it is important to do a regular review of the categorization and the security posture of each category of systems.
Jill Brummer says
A key takeaway from the reading is that there are 17 security-related areas in regard to protecting information systems and data. These 17 areas address the management, operational, and technical aspects of protecting federal information and info systems.
Frank Kofi Kpotivi says
one thing i learnt from this publication is organizations must establish, maintain, and effectively implement plans for emergency response, backup operations, and post-disaster recovery for organizational information systems to ensure the availability of critical information resources and continuity of operations in emergency
Nishant Shah says
Those areas of security are absolutely important Frank! Organizations must also test those controls to ensure they don’t have a false sense of security. Organizations must also review their procedures to ensure they include new systems, architectures and any changes to the existing systems are appropriately covered.
Samuel Omotosho says
One important takeaway from reading this is that the main 17 security-related areas cover the security objectives. One security-related area is awareness and training, for example. Personally, this is one of my favorite topics because I find it fascinating how a lack of security awareness and training can be the primary cause of a data breach in a company. This is why it’s important for all businesses to invest in security training for all employees, not just those in the IS department.
Shepherd Shenjere says
To add to your point, security awareness is the most affordable cyber security measures you can do to protect your business. So, it is worthwhile for the organizations to invest in it.
Abayomi Aiyedebinu says
It is true that lack of security awareness training can be the primary cause of a breach. An organization needs to have a robust training initiative to sensitize employees and users of information asset about risk and vulnerabilities inherent from use of information asset, and also do periodic security awareness training to prepare employees as informed target in case of a breach.
Shepherd Shenjere says
This reading speaks about minimum security requirements. It covers seventeen security related areas with regard to protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of federal information systems and the information processed, stored, and transmitted by those systems. The one that standouts to me is Access Control (AC). Organizations must limit information system access to authorized users, processes acting on behalf of authorized users which helps to prevent from fraud activities and abide with security objectives such as integrity.
Nishant Shah says
Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requires federal agencies to have minimum security requirements for information and information systems in each security category (confidentiality, integrity, availability). The minimum security requirements cover seventeen security-related areas. The seventeen areas represent a broad-based, balanced information security program that addresses the management, operational, and technical aspects of protecting federal information and information systems. Controls for each of these areas are selected from the NIST SP 800-53.
The security-related areas include: (i) access control; (ii) awareness and training; (iii) audit and accountability; (iv) certification, accreditation, and security assessments; (v) configuration management; (vi) contingency planning; (vii) identification and authentication; (viii) incident response; (ix) maintenance; (x) media protection; (xi) physical and environmental protection; (xii) planning; (xiii) personnel security; (xiv) risk assessment; (xv) systems and services acquisition; (xvi) system and communications protection; and (xvii) system and information integrity.
Mengqi Xiong says
FIPS 200 provides a set of generic security requirements that must be met and defines a set of security controls that must be implemented to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of Federal information and systems. An essential requirement of FIPS 200 is that all Federal information systems must be classified for security based on the level of risk they pose to the organization. This classification determines the specific security controls that must be implemented for a particular system. In addition, FIPS 200 requires continuous monitoring of all federal information systems and timely reporting and response to security incidents. This includes implementing incident response procedures, performing periodic security assessments, and maintaining security documentation.
Minimum Security Requirements for Federal Information and Information Systems include Access Control; Audit and Accountability; Awareness and Training; Assessment, Authorization and Monitoring; Configuration Management; Contingency Planning; Identification and Authentication; Incident Response; Maintenance; Media Protection; Personnel Security; Physical and Environmental Protection; Planning; Risk Assessment; System and Communications Protection; System and Information Integrity; System and Services Acquisition.
Pranavi Yadalam Sekhar says
The list of seventeen security-related areas that need to be protected is the main takeaway from the FIPS Publication 200 document. It’s fascinating to read about the seventeen topics that NIST determined best handled security in a comprehensive yet balanced way. Additionally, it became apparent how crucial it is to classify the systems correctly in accordance with FIPS Publication 199 before choosing the right baseline from NIST Special Publication 800-53. When the organization uses the seventeen security-related area controls identified by the security control baseline to build policies and procedures, successful completion of these first two steps enables the organization to have the most cost-effective approach to risk management.
Abayomi Aiyedebinu says
One section that stood out to me is the awareness and training section; Every organization, agencies must provide security training and awareness to its employees or users of its information asset. Some of this includes Security information and event management, periodic phishing campaign this will help and ensure that ensure that managers and users of organizational information systems are made aware of the security risks associated with their activities and of the applicable laws, Executive Orders, directives, policies, standards, instructions, regulations, or procedures related to the security of organizational information systems. Having a robust security and awareness training program will help prepare employees as informed targets in case of threat and vulnerabilities to the information system.
Wei Zhang says
To protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of federal information systems and the data processed by the systems, FIPS 200 Minimum Security Requirements for Federal Information and Information Systems states that the minimum requirements cover 17 security-related areas.
One of these areas is for Certification, Accreditation, and Security Assessments (CA). It mentions the need to regularly assess the security control in the organization’s information system, formulate and implement plans to eliminate vulnerabilities, authorize the operation and system connection of the organization’s information system, and continuously monitor whether the controls are working.
Nicholas Foster says
A key point that I’ve taken from the reading that we’ve seen reiterated time and time again is that when addressing impact levels of information systems, the highest water mark for impact sets the standard for the impact. This means a low-impact system has all three (confidentiality, integrity and availability) set as low. A medium-impact system has at least 1 set as medium and the rest below high. Lastly, the high-impact system has at least 1 set as high, and the rest can be any impact rating. For example, if a system has confidentiality set to high but integrity and availability are set to low, it will still be labeled as high-impact.
Wei Zhang says
Yes, just like the FIPS Pub 199 standard for security classification that we talked about last class, even one CIA that is rated as high impact will be classified as a high-risk level. Companies cannot afford any “insignificant” high risk.
Parmita Patel says
The information levels are set by category confidentiality, integrity and availability which helps us determine what risk we take is acceptable. This is important because organization has to decide what is acceptable for them since each company is different. Even when it comes to assessing risk we also determine within that risk if it is low, medium or high. There also should be documents set in place that if something was to go wrong then we are able to have a plan. This will also result in finding a solution quicker.
Shadrack Owusu says
Some of the specifications for minimum security requirements are
a) Physical and Environmental Protection (PE)
b) Certification, Accreditation, and Security Assessments (CA)
c) Access Control (AC)
d ) Audit and Accountability (AU)
e) Awareness and Training (AT )
David Vanaman says
My key takeaway from FIPS 200 is just that there is so little in it. It is effectively a dozen pages with a lot of formal language the boils down to “Use NIST 800-53 as a framework to address controls based on the sensitivity level of your organization”. It kind of seems superfluous to me since there are many other documents that reiterate the CIA triad, the need to evaluate controls based on highest risk, and the need to look at all the areas of a systems, not just the most obvious ones.